The Books that Changed My Life Personally & Professionally
The 6 Most Life-Changing Wellness Books Of 2019—Summarized
So, you haven't read the top wellness titles of 2019? No worries: We distilled six important tomes into the most life-changing takeaways—each in just three sentences.
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Age ain't nothin' but... the length of your telomeres (they're the ends of your chromosomes, and the key to how well you age; longer ones = a longer life.) One way to keep them from unraveling is to stop rehashing the past. Ruminating over, say, a bad breakup or lost job allows telomere-shortening stress to linger in the body.
The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer, by Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., and Elissa Epel, Ph.D., .00,
We're hardwired by our genes to want more (more money, more food, more sex), not to be content with what we have. Meditation can quell the distress caused by that dissatisfaction—but you just can't meditate, you say? Simply noticing how often thoughts distract you when you try to meditate is, in fact, progress; notice, and let them go.
MORE: I Tried Meditating Every Day for a Month—Here's What Happened
Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment, by Robert Wright, .00,
Self-compassion—being kind to yourself—is often confused with self-pity or self-indulgence, but practicing it can help you recover from hardships faster. Try fostering it by writing down thoughts that hold you back (e.g.,I'm weak because I failed), then countering them with self-freeing ones (such as,My worth isn't tied to my actions.) Research shows journaling like this can lessen anxiety and boost immunity.
10 silent signals you're way too stressed out:
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, .00,
70% of women have vaginal itching at one time or another; 25% end up in the "itch-scratch" cycle, where scratching actually makes you itch more! If your gyno rules out a yeast or bacterial infection, use a gentle steroid cream (try an OTC 1% hydrocortisone cream) to calm irritation. You can also add a palmful of extra-virgin coconut oil to a bath to moisturize dry skin.
MORE: What’s That On Your Hoo-Ha? 5 Vaginal Conditions You Need To Know About
She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period., by Sherry A. Ross, M.D., .00,
The chef and Feed Me Phoebe blogger spent a year experimenting with finding a balance between bellinis-at-brunch hedonism and Instagram-perfect wellness. And came up with this: Make "virtuous" foods like cabbage and lentils staples in your diet, but cook them with a pat of butter. This strategy, called flavor masking, makes less-popular nutritional powerhouses more palatable.
MORE: This Is How To Make Brussels Sprouts That Taste As Good As They Do In Restaurants
The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life, by Phoebe Lapine, .00,
Figuring out what incentivizes you—meeting your own expectations, meeting others', or a combo of the two—is the trick to making healthy habits stick. For example, if you struggle to exercise unless someone else holds you accountable, hire a trainer. But if you hate the idea of someone keeping tabs on you, choose an out-of-the-box workout you'll be pumped to do on your own.
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Women's Health.
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